Saturday, June 27, 2009

Body & Solstice - part two

(belated entry for June 21, 2009, continued)

It being Sunday (all day to walk if I want! ) AND the Summer Solstice,
I took a huffing and puffing pilgrimmage up to the Spring Overlook on the Hudson River side of Moreau Lake State Park.

It's a magical place, up there - with rocky ledges at your back, and before you a terrific open view of the Hudson as it bends northward. On a previous visit, I'd been sitting there admiring the long green view, when a turkey vulture glided past, BELOW my stony seat.
That bend of the river is our number one place to observe bald eagles in the winter months.
They frequent this part of the river, with its dams which create sections of open water even in the dead of winter.

There are all sorts of large stones scattered here and there on the forested tabletop behind the outlook. Perhaps I would meet some post-modern druidic folks up there, celebrating the solstice ? Or some Naked Hikers, doing same. (see previous post.)
It certainly was warm and humid enough to make clothing seem redundant. Conditions were good for a sighting!

Alas, I met no one else on the trail that day, even though it was a Sunday when lots of folks are out and about doing fun outdoor things. That's the great thing about Moreau Park, it's very large - something like 4000 acres large. And, as a ranger once told me in describing Yosemite National Park: "About 95 percent of the visitors here visit 5 percent of the park."

Once at my destination,I had not been out on the ledge five minutes when I looked northward - hey, there's a pretty dark cloud, and it looks like it's raining across the river!

Then: hey! it's coming this way!

And before you could say Weather Channel, a big sheet of rain swept across the landscape rapidly in my direction.

I got off that ledge fast (thinking of the possibility of lightning.) Once down by the powerline which crosses the trail halfway up that side of the mountain, the rain eased up, and I took my time coming back. Everything looked fantastic after the drenching - the colors were all, er, more saturated.

Also in my travels to various places today, I found a flower that was new to me - even after all these years of admittedly casual observing, it's amazing how many remain out there to be discovered anew ...!
The Red Lily -"it belongs not to Spring" according to Thoreau

Glowing bright orange against the tender green sea of delicate ferns - it was a Wood Lily. Spotted like a tiger lily, but pointing straight up at the sky. According to my knowledgable pal Jackie (who looked this up), it is not too common and also somewhat endangered in New York State. What thrilled me was to learn that this is a true native lily. (The common day-lily that lines the roadsides this time of year is an introduced plant.)
To celebrate the Solstice, I dined on what the trail had to offer:

Le Menu
Solstice Café
Appetizer - sorrel leaves and strawberry
Clover Salad Buffet - all-you-can-eat Red, Pink Alsike and White Sweet Clover, garnished with Ox-Eye Daisy foliage

Side - fresh new wintergreen leaves.

Dessert - blueberries and huckleberries.

After-dinner mint - tender new growth of Eastern Hemlock tree needles (once you get used to that "just-scrubbed hardwood floor" taste in your mouth, it sort of grows on you.)

1 comment:

  1. We're so excited to have discovered your blog! We were led here via Saratoga Woods and Waterways, and we're so glad that we came! Your wanders are very magical, and we were delighted to find a fellow wild-food eater! That strawberry looks SO good -- it's amazing how much flavor can fit into one of those little things! We'll be putting you on our Awesome Nature Blogs blogroll -- thanks for sharing your adventures!